Showing posts from August, 2008

Use ROX-Filer to open containing folders in Firefox/Iceweasel

Update: See this for an easier way to accomplish the same goal.

One of the slightly bothersome things about using ROX-Filer with Iceweasel in Debian Etch (and I suspect Firefox in other distributions) is that Iceweasel won't "open containing folders" with ROX-Filer from Iceweasel's Downloads window. I was therefore pretty jazzed when I found this link at Rubylution that shows you how to tell Firefox (and Iceweasel) to use a specific file manager to open folders.

Of course I tried it, and of course it failed. The problem is that Firefox/Iceweasel sends the specified file manager the name of the directory in the form of a file://<filename> URL, and ROX-Filer doesn't get file URLs.* So, I wrote a script that uses sed to decode the URL to a form that ROX-Filer understands and then calls ROX-Filer with the decoded path.

So here's what you do:

Create an executable /usr/local/bin/rox-open-url:
#!/bin/bash # Opens input argument in rox, where input argument is …

Tweaking the Debbie

I've made a few tweaks to SkinnyDebbie, some to fix bugs, some to make some behavioral improvements. In particular, I have:
Added /usr/local/bin/rox-open-url and /usr/local/share/rox-open-url/urldecode.sedAdded to install process that modifies Iceweasel default preferences (/etc/iceweasel/profile/prefs.js) to download files to home directory (with prompt) and use rox-open-url to "open containing folders".Changed ownership of /etc/X11/xdm/Xsetup to rootChanged tooltip and properties text for "Screen resolutions" control panel.The official changelog is here.

If you are an early SkinnyDebbie adopter and want to implement these changes, let me know and I'll send you a custom updater script.

SkinnyDebbie is done

The initial release of SkinnyDebbie is done. What started as something that I thought I could put together in a few evenings has turned out taking far, far longer than that. But I think the results have been worth it. There are aspects of the user experience that still need cleaning up, but overall I think it's a pretty decent lightweight desktop.

Most of my time was spent writing scripts to make system administration easier for less-than-sys-admin types. Automounting in particular was a royal time hog. If you are insane enough to actually read all the custom scripts (both the ones that do the installation as well as the ones that are installed as part of SkinnyDebbie), you will be able to track the development of my Linux competence.

I've decided to give SkinnyDebbie its own website. For the time being, it will be hosted at I am hoping this is a temporary situation and that a more suitable location will present itself. I'm also hoping to fl…

automounting - part 2

Here is a brief (!) summary of the problems I encountered in setting up automounting in SkinnyDebbie and what I did to get it to behave. The whole process relies on hal and ivman. Maybe there is a better way to do this; if so I would love to learn how.

In no particular order ...

If media is present when user starts machine, the media automounts under ivman's account, and then a regular user can't unmount it.

Disable ivman daemon so that the ivman user doesn't do any mounting:
# update-rc.d -f ivman removeStart ivman under the user's account at login so the regular user can mount via ivman.In other words, have ivman run as user and do not have it run as ivman (which is what the daemon makes happen). The major consequence of this approach is that it will only work if one user at a time is logged into the machine or only one user at a time is authorized to use automounting.

Turning off the ivman daemon is handled by the SkinnyDebbie installer. I wrote a custom script …